Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Cooking for fun – Grilled chicken and lemon rice

by on Monday, January 16th, 2012

I am always on the lookout, not necessarily the search, for good food that I can find time to make. Even though I do not feel like I am super busy, time just seems to evaporate most days. During one adventure to the grocery store, I was inspired to buy some chicken breasts. I’m not sure why exactly. I usually walk right by that aisle as I prepare for what is sure to be a battle at the deli section (there are so many choices, strategy must be employed). Anyway, I picked them up, and stuck them in the freezer for X days (X was long enough that I forgot what X is, besides a number of course).

Eventually I determined I had waited until fullness and it was time to cook something tasty. I came across an extremely simple recipe for grilled chicken. There are only two ingredients: chicken breasts and italian dressing. I thought, surely this is something I can do. All you have to do is:

Rinse chicken and place in ziploc bag. Cover with Italian dressing and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grate, then grill for 6-8 mins per side.

It says to use high heat, but I found that I was actually just searing them and then creating a ton of smoke (if only I had glowies it would have been fun), so I used medium heat instead and it worked waaaaaaaay better. I like to cut the chicken breasts up into strips before marinating so they can soak up a little more. I’ve tried both regular italian dressing, and zesty, and both are good. The flavor is not very strong, but keeps them nice and moist.

Now, I just couldn’t leave it with only having chicken. That is not much of a meal. I had, by chance, also picked up a very tiny rice cooker. It cooks about 1-1.5 cups of rice into 2-3 cups of rice. Really perfect for a small meal. Has a keep it warm setting when done so it makes it really easy so I do not have to worry about, omgomgomg don’t burn the rice, etc. So I was on the hunt for another recipe for some simple rice I can make. I found this really simple lemon rice recipe.

1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons butter or 2 teaspoons margarine
1 cup uncooked rice , long grain
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8-1/4 teaspoon grated lemon, zest of
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning

I tend the fudge the numbers a bit when I actually make it (I’m pretty sure this is genetic). I do not think I use as much butter. I use about 1/2 tablespoon less lemon juice. And I through in a lot more herbs than just basil. I like to put int some oregano, rosemary, dill weed, and sage. Does it make a difference? Iuno, but it seems fun. I like the chicken broth for water, at least, I am assuming I use chicken broth in place of water? I mean, it matches up to what the rice cooker needs for a water level, so it is not like I add extra water. This is why I have a cooker, I’d be way confused otherwise. Way.

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT lemonpepper in saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.

Cover pot and allow to simmer slowly for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

Sprinkle with lemonpepper before serving.

I have a little bit less steps, since I let the rice cooker do the work, but it is essentially the same. After that, I followed a bit of advice from a cool person I know. Ackley is on this raw foods diet. It seems to have done wonders for her, with lots of pictures to prove it. It is basically an attempt to eat less, cooked and processed food. So I decided to go with some fresh-ish carrots and broccoli with some ranch dip (I need dip for those, for cereals). Threw in half an apple, mostly because I only had one and wanted an apple for the next day as well so I compromised. Worked out well since this ended up being a lot of food.

The image is only half the rice and grilled chicken that I prepared. It seemed like enough for me. So this may very well work out was as a recipe for two. I don’t have two, so I will have to settle for two days of meals. I got to test out my bento box I got awhile ago. It mostly fit all snuggly inside. I had to leave the apple out, but worked like a charm at work. Now I have something tasty and unique to take to lunch. Hurray!

Keelah se’lai.

Cooking for fun – Italian tomato sauce

by on Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Sometimes I really like to cook. Okay, most times I would really like to, I just get very busy and don’t take the time to. I definitely get my love of experimenting (and total lack of writing down ingredients and amounts) from my parents. Whether that is nature or nurture, who knows. All I know is it is fun to my tasty food, so I will try to recall what I actually did to make my two most recent meals (that I have pictures for too!).

The Sauce

So my first totally awesome experiment was some sorta¬†of Italian dish. Any good Italian dish needs a delicious sauce. I scoured the interwebs for something that sounded like it would fit my needs. I wanted something tomatoey, and something that would not take too long to make. I found one that used some of my favorite herbs and called for the alcohol to cook with. I just couldn’t say no (linky)!


  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed with flat of knife and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 to 1 cup diced, fresh basil. (It’s your call. We usually use close to a cup)
  • 1/2 cup red wine. (Good enough quality to drink)
  • 1 T turbinado (raw) sugar (or Splenda)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes.
  • 1 t lemon juice (optional)
  • 3 T brandy (optional)

* T is for tablespoon, t is for teaspoon

Looks good doesn’t it? While is calls for either diced or crushed tomatoes, I highly recommend crushed if you want it to be a sauce. Otherwise it kinda turns out as a Italian salsa, which was pretty cool. I like to lessen the basil a bit and add in some oregano and rosemary. I can’t really give you amounts as I’m dealing with all dried and crushed versions so I never actually have a cup of fresh basil.

Let’s get cooking

  • Saut√© onions in olive oil over low heat, covered, for 10-12 minutes.
  • Add garlic and basil, re-cover, for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Uncover and add wine. Reduce by about half.
  • Add tomatoes , sugar, and S & P and simmer for 15 minutes. You can reduce the sauce further and intensify the flavor. We like to add the brandy and lemon juice about 3-4 minutes before finishing.
  • If you want to turn this sauce into Neapolitan Sauce, add 10-12 sliced ripe olives, and 1 1/2 T capers just before finishing.
  • Fresh Italian Parsley can be added at the end if you like it.